Venus Springs v. Ally Financial Incorporated


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 3:10-cv-00311-MOC-DCK Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [1000058497].. [16-2146]

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Appeal: 16-2146 Doc: 28 Filed: 04/10/2017 Pg: 1 of 6 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-2146 VENUS YVETTE SPRINGS, a/k/a Yvette Springs, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. ALLY FINANCIAL INCORPORATED, f/k/a GMAC Incorporated; AMY BOUQUE, Defendants – Appellees, and KATHLEEN PATTERSON; DAUTRICH, YEQUIANG HE, a/k/a Bill He; CYNTHIA Defendants. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Max O. Cogburn, Jr., District Judge. (3:10-cv-00311-MOC-DCK) Submitted: March 28, 2017 Decided: April 10, 2017 Before SHEDD, DUNCAN, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Herman Kaufman, HERMAN KAUFMAN, ESQ., Old Greenwich, Connecticut; Venus Yvette Springs, SPRINGS LAW FIRM PLLC, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant. Kirk G. Warner, Clifton L. Brinson, SMITH, ANDERSON, BLOUNT, DORSETT, MITCHELL & Appeal: 16-2146 Doc: 28 Filed: 04/10/2017 Pg: 2 of 6 JERNIGAN, LLP, Raleigh, North Carolina, for Appellees. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. 2 Appeal: 16-2146 Doc: 28 Filed: 04/10/2017 Pg: 3 of 6 PER CURIAM: Venus Yvette Springs appeals the district court’s order adopting the magistrate judge’s order granting Ally Financial Incorporated (“Ally”) and Amy Bouque’s (collectively, Appellees) motion for a protective order.* Finding no reversible error, we affirm. Springs first contends that the district court violated this Court’s mandate by modifying a protective order and that the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to enter a postjudgment protective order, even though we previously ruled that it had such jurisdiction. court’s interpretation of “We review de novo the district the mandate.” United Pileggi, 703 F.3d 675, 679 (4th Cir. 2013). “forecloses relitigation of issues States v. The mandate rule expressly or impliedly decided by the appellate court,” as well as “issues decided by the district court but foregone on appeal or otherwise waived.” United States v. Susi, 674 F.3d 278, 283 (4th Cir. 2012). Moreover, “any issue that could have been but was not raised on appeal is waived and thus not remanded.” Doe v. Chao, 511 F.3d 461, 465 (4th Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks omitted). * We This case has been before us on two prior occasions, Springs v. Ally Fin., Inc., 475 F. App’x 900 (4th Cir. 2012) (No. 12-1258), and Springs v. Ally Fin., Inc., 657 F. App’x 148 (4th Cir. 2016) (Nos. 15-1244, 15-1888). 3 Appeal: 16-2146 Doc: 28 conclude Filed: 04/10/2017 that the district Pg: 4 of 6 court faithfully carried out our that Appellees’ motion was not authorizes the mandates. Next, timely Springs filed. contends Rule 26(c), Fed. R. Civ. P., district court to issue protective orders, but does not contain a timeframe in which a party must seek such an order. However, “courts regularly have grafted reasonable time requirements onto otherwise silent federal procedural rules in both the criminal and civil contexts.” Resolution Tr. Corp. v. N. Bridge Assocs., Inc., 22 F.3d 1198, 1204 (1st Cir. 1994) (internal quotation marks omitted). Here, Appellees first sought to resolve this dispute without seeking judicial intervention, as required by Rule 26(c). We further conclude that Appellees filed their motion within a reasonable time. Finally, Springs contends that good cause does not support the protective order and that it violates her First Amendment rights. We review a “district court’s entry of a protective order . . . for abuse of discretion.” 415 F.3d 325, 330 (4th Cir. 2005). Fonner v. Fairfax Cty., “The district court abuses its discretion if its conclusion is guided by erroneous legal principles or rests upon a clearly erroneous factual finding.” Belk, Inc. v. Meyer Corp., U.S., 679 F.3d 146, 161 (4th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted). 4 Appeal: 16-2146 Doc: 28 Filed: 04/10/2017 Pg: 5 of 6 The Supreme Court has held that “where . . . a protective order is entered on a showing of good cause as required by Rule 26(c), is limited to the context of pretrial civil discovery, and does not restrict the dissemination of the information if gained from Amendment.” (1984). issue in other sources, it does not offend the First Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 37 Springs correctly notes that the video deposition at the protective order was not just pretrial civil discovery, but was attached to her opposition to Ally’s motion for summary judgment. We have “held that the First Amendment right of access [to judicial documents] attaches to materials filed in connection with a summary judgment motion.” Pub. Citizen, 749 F.3d 246, 267 (4th Cir. 2014). conclude that the district court should have Doe v. Thus, we conducted an explicit First Amendment analysis. However, “we may affirm a district court’s ruling on any ground apparent in the record.” United States ex rel. Drakeford v. Tuomey, 792 F.3d 364, 375 (4th Cir. 2015). In the sealing context, the First Amendment limits restricting access to court documents to restrictions “necessitated by a compelling government interest” and that are “narrowly tailored to serve that interest.” omitted). Doe, 749 F.3d at 266 (internal quotation marks Applying this framework to the protective order at issue, we readily conclude that the district court’s order does 5 Appeal: 16-2146 Doc: 28 Filed: 04/10/2017 Pg: 6 of 6 not unduly infringe on Springs’ First Amendment rights. The district court has a compelling interest in preventing litigants like Springs from using discovery to mock and harass a private party on the Internet. See Seattle Times, 467 U.S. at 34 (“Rule 26(c) furthers a substantial governmental interest unrelated to the suppression of expression.”). Moreover, the district court’s order is narrowly tailored to support that interest, only preventing Springs from using the video and audio recordings to distribute her message. Finally, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that good cause supports issuing the protective order. “Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated reasoning, do not satisfy” Rule 26(c). Cipollone v. Liggett Grp., Inc., 785 F.2d 1108, 1121 (3d Cir. 1986). However, Springs accused Bouque defamation of perjury, North Carolina law. which amounts to per se under See Gudger v. Penland, 13 S.E. 168, 170 (N.C. 1891). Accordingly, dispense with contentions are we oral affirm the argument adequately district because presented in court’s the the facts order. We and legal materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 6

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